President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday vowed to deal with the Publisher of Saharareporters, Omoyele Sowore, and other social media critics of his administration.
Buhari, who issued the threat in his speech.to commemorate Nigeria’s 59th Independence Day, said his administration would crack down on those using social media to point out the ills of his government.
He said: “Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media. Whilst we uphold the Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our National Security, we will take firm and decisive action.
“In this regard, I reiterate my call for all to exercise restraint, tolerance and mutual respect in airing their grievances and frustrations. Whilst the ongoing national discourse on various political and religious issues is healthy and welcome, we must not forget the lessons of our past – lessons that are most relevant on a day such as this.
“The path of hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction. I believe that the vast majority of Nigerians would rather tread the path of peace and prosperity, as we continue to uphold and cherish our unity.”
Sowore is facing charges of cyber stalking and “insulting President Muhammadu Buhari” on social media.
Though a Federal High Court granted him bail late September, the Department for State Services refused to release him.
Instead, it arraigned him before another court on Monday, which fixed Friday for his bail application.